The 67-year-old former scrum half, who also played for the British & Irish Lions, reckoned being one of the smaller players in the game and having to do a great deal of tackling were major contributory factors to his condition.
However, he also said he had no regrets and had enjoyed a great life.
Laidlaw, uncle of former Scotland scrum half Greig, spent 17 years at his home town club of Jed-Forest and played 47 times for Scotland, as well as captaining his country.
The highlight of his career was the 1984 Grand Slam, while he also made four Test appearances for the British and Irish Lions during their tour to New Zealand the previous year.
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Laidlaw told his former Scotland team mate John Beattie in a BBC Scotland interview that he realised something was wrong a few years ago when he was working for the Scottish Borders Housing Association. He was told where his next appointment was and immediately forgot where he was going.
A well known face in his community, Roy was a winner in the summer of last year at the Jed-Forest Border Games, winning the 60m handicap for people over 45 years.
Around the same time, he and Gary Armstrong and Greig Laidlaw were honoured at the star-studded ‘Three 9s’ occasion at Riverside Park, which celebrated their achievements in wearing the number nine jersey for Jed-Forest, Scotland and the British & Irish Lions.